As great as PC gaming is, let’s face it, when it comes to gaming in the living room, consoles have the PC beat. Alienware and the Steam Machines were supposed to change that, but considering Valve delayed its hardware initiative, Alienware decided to releases its box early as a small Windows 8.1 PC, dubbed the Alienware Alpha. While the PC does an admirable job of attacking the PC’s problem areas in the living room, as the name implies, it’s still (unfortunately) in a bit of an alpha stage.
Runs Windows 8.1 but boots straight into Steam’s Big Picture Mode
Syber, a division of California-based boutique system builder CyberPowerPC, has announced an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980-packing gaming PC that boots directly into Steam’s Big Picture Mode. The Syber Vapor Extreme, as the machine is called, is not an altogether new product, but the latest addition to an upcoming line of Windows 8.1-based gaming consoles the company unveiled at E3 2014 back in June.
Valve didn't do its hardware partners any favors by delaying the availability of its in-house developed Steam Controller, which by extension means everyone else has to push back the launch of their respective Steam Machine systems until next year. Bummer, right? Well, yes, but Alienware isn't letting the delay mess up its mojo. Instead, Alienware took its Steam Machine design and ran with a configuration that runs Windows, plus a custom 10-foot UI during boot for accessing music and movies. We took a closer look at the Alienware Alpha Console at E3.
Back in November 2013 Valve announced iBuyPower as one of its partners that would be developing and selling a Steam Machine. At E3 2014, iBuyPower has shown its Steam Machine, the SBX, to Maximum PC editor Jimmy Thang.
Dell isn't letting Valve's Steam Machine delay ruin its plans to invade the living room
By now you've likely heard that official Steam Machines won't launch until sometime next year when Valve is finished tweaking its Steam Controller prototype (and if you haven't heard, you should bookmark Maximum PC!). That's a bit of a pisser, though it isn't stopping OEM system builders from forging ahead with plans to release console-like PC systems. Case in point, Alienware just announced its Alpha Console starting at $549.
Valve wants to perfect its wireless prototype controllers before launching Steam Machines
Well now, this is certainly a bummer. While we hoped to be testing out an avalanche of Steam Machine releases this year, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Instead, Valve just announced that Steam Machines probably won't officially launch until next year, which buys the publisher time to tweak its wireless prototype controllers. Valve wants to make sure the controller is up to par before moving forward.
Dell is up to the challenge of pushing Steam Machines through its Alienware arm
After much hype, the hoopla surrounding Valve's Steam Machine initiative seems to have died down, though it's only the calm before the storm. They're coming, and though Valve won't receive royalties from PC makers who build Steam Machines around its Linux-based Steam OS, there is sufficient pressure to keep pricing on the level of traditional game consoles. This is something Alienware admits will be a challenge, though it's one the company is more than happy to tackle.